Welsh Enduro Rd2 at Coed-Y-Brenin- Neil Halcrow

Round 2 of the Welsh Enduro series at Coed-Y-Brenin was aiming to be a really pedally more trail centre type of race, completely different to round 1 which was more downhill focused, but it was nice to see the race organisers mixing races up between rounds to suit different riders strengths and weaknesses.

Typically after over 2 weeks of dry dusty conditions, the weekend of the race was hit by heavy rain, but luckily Coed-Y-Brenin is mostly rock so dried quickly with the day of the race being warm and sunny, so the tracks dried out well with only a few wet sections.

After a quick practice loop on Sunday morning to check out how the 3 stages had been taped it was time to race. Stage one started on the last descent of the red Dragon's Back trail finishing behind the trail centre. This stage went pretty straight forward with only a small pedal strike taking a high line into the 2nd section of the stage but luckily didn't loose me any time.

Stage 2 was the first time the new Y Slab section had been used, which again was a long stage taking in the older Snap, Crackle and Pop sections of the trail. The key to this stage was to keep the bike flowing over the rocky trail without stalling the bike and clean the stage without any big mistakes. Dropping into the 3 large slab sections took a few riders out in style, but luckily my line checking in practice had paid off and I managed to clear the 3 slabs without any issues.

Stage 3 was the longest stage of the day, over 6 mins in length and started on the Rocky Horror show trail, which is long rocky singletrack section, then down a long double track into a climb onto the rocky Pins and Needles section then into the old Redbull trail, which I haven't ridden in year, so a practice of this section in the morning was a must. Race run went well, and I was feeling strong on the pedals and climbs managing to catch 2 riders in front of me, which thankfully they moved to let me passed straight away which was really great of them, again no mistakes meant I came across the line in 1st in Masters, and then the long way to see if I could hold that position, and it was a long wait until I finally got bumped down to 3rd place after the last few riders came in, but really pleased to bag a 3rd on the Whyte T130 carbon works bike, and for the first time for myself bagged 3rd fastest time overall, with all 3 Masters podium riders setting the fastest time of the day.

As always a great race and really well organised, and now looking forward to Rd3 at Llandegla on the 8th July.

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Russell Prodger